The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning letter to Sprouts Unlimited of Marion, Iowa after clover sprouts produced by the company were linked to an E. coli outbreak in Iowa that sickened 22 people who ate the sprouts on sandwiches they purchased from Jimmy John’s restaurants and numerous food safety violations were discovered at the company’s plant. The FDA also issued a warning letter to Jimmy John’s.

Health officials used genetic tests to show that E. coli O103 found in the sprouts and irrigation water at the company’s facility was closely related to the strain cultured from the people sickened. After the outbreak was linked to clover sprouts produced by Sprouts Unlimited, FDA inspectors conducted an inspection of the company’s plant in Marion, Iowa from December 31, 2019, to January 9, 2020.

During that inspection, FDA inspectors discovered numerous food safety violations that render not only the clover sprouts adulterated according to federal regulations but also the company’s mung bean, red bean, alfalfa, broccoli, onion, radish, pea, and lentil sprout products, adulterated.

E. coli lawyer sprouts on a plate

These violations include neglecting to: test spent irrigation water; hold product from entering commerce until results of irrigation water tests; take corrective actions when growing, harvesting, packing, or holding areas tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes; clean and sanitize your food contact surfaces. The company has 15 days to respond to the FDA outlining the corrective actions it will take.

The E. coli lawyers at Pritzker Hageman represent clients nationwide who have sickened by contaminated food. If you would like to request a free consultation with our E. coli Team, call us at 1-888-377-8900, text us at 612-261-0856 or, fill out the form below.